I talk to clients all the time about logos as part of a larger brand building campaign and sometime it is best to leave things to the professionals. Recently Garland Texas rebranded their city. No you would think a city rebranding project might a pricey job because you need to do a lot of research to feel out your local citizens to get them on board with the new change, but also in order to get an idea of who these people are and how best to represent them.
This could easily take many man hours to develop the strategy before the design process even starts. It looks like Garland spent somewhere around $78, 000 for the research, logo design and corporate identity manual on how to effectively use the logo to make the strongest brand possible.
Now to some of the people that were interviewed this seemed like a lot of money, too much for a silly flower logo. In the grand scheme of things a solid city logo will be around for many years, decades or lifetimes if done well. The problem is the people interviewed were not professionals and do not understand the value of a city brand. This is something that could bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic development over the lifetime of this logo. Is that worth $78K? Sound fair to me.
Industry standards say that a similar project include:
- comprehensive research
- consultation and design audit
- design of an integrated identity system
- presentation of 3 to 6 schematics
- final application to collateral, signs, etc.
- and an implementation guidelines
This type project typically goes for an average of $30K-$100K depending on the size of the client in this case city.
So what do we think of the logo as a branding company? I think it is ok. I think this is a reasonable amount to charge for this project, but I would have liked to see the other options for the design. My only concern with the logo is that it uses what looks to be a standard font. Typically we recommend customizing the font/type in order to make it a little more unique and customized. This is a basic branding technique we require for any serious brand development we do. Actually the original logo has more customized type instead of just a font.
Do I think the new logo is better than the old one? Maybe, but the old logo was good, it just looks a little dated with the star swoosh. It looks like it was done in the '90s when there seemed to be a big trend in swooshes. Honestly if you removed the star and the swoosh the old logo is pretty good.
Anyhow, the new logo is strong and will set Garland apart. This logo may be a little too complex and I would recommend simplifying things more to work as both a large and small logo symbol (icon), but overall it is professional and strong so this should be good for Garland's future.
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Do you prefer the logo before or after the rebranding. What are your thoughts on the price do you think $78,000 is reasonable for this logo for a city?